The Stetson men's basketball team (2-6) begins a five-game
road trip with a return to Richmond on Saturday. The Hatters and the Richmond Spiders (8-2)
are scheduled to tip off at 6:00 p.m. at the Robins Center (note: originally on
the schedule as 7:00 p.m.).
"They're a really unconventional team to prepare for on both
ends of the floor," Stetson head coach Casey Alexander said of Richmond. "They're
a Princeton derivative, that's [Coach] Mooney's background. That's the style he
had so much success with at Air Force, and it's difficult to prepare for."
It's been working for the Spiders so far this season, as the
Sweet 16 team from just two seasons ago is out to a hot 8-2 start, winning its
last four contests. Richmond is
averaging 73.3 points per game with shooting percentages of 46.2 from the
floor, 38.4 from beyond the arc, and 76.1 from the free throw line. Alexander remarked that many overlook how
difficult it is to prepare for the team's offense because Richmond's defense is
quite different as well.
"It's a matchup zone, or a switching man," Alexander said. "They're
going to play it every possession of every game, and they're really good at
what they do, so it's a tough assignment. It creates a lot of uncertainty for
us offensively, because you don't know where your baskets are going to come
from. You're not going to get any practice
scores, any set play scores. You're
literally going to have to have concepts about how to attack it, but your
scores are going to come at random. We
could execute our plan, but there's no guarantee that we'll get the result we
want, because it's such a difficult defense to play against."
The Spiders are holding their opponents to just 63.4 points
per game, but fortunately for the Hatters, Stetson is currently leading the
Atlantic Sun Conference with 72.2 points and 17.3 assists per game. SU is also the only squad in the conference
with four players scoring in double figures.
Senior Adam Pegg (15.9), junior Aaron Graham (12.6), junior Chris Perez
(12.1), and senior Joel Naburgs (11.9) give the Hatters a number of offensive
threats in each and every game.
"It's nice to have multiple scorers," Alexander said. "They're scoring in different ways. They're all scoring within the framework of
the offense, and that what it's designed to do.
There's no secret that offense is not our problem."
Stetson and Richmond will be hitting the hardcourt against
each other for the first time since 1983, when the Spiders came out on top
53-52 in DeLand. Richmond holds a 3-1
advantage in the all-time series, which dates back to 1977 when Stetson fell on
the road by a score of 69-60. The
Hatters' lone win in the series was a 73-56 home victory in 1978.
Saturday's contest can be listened to live on WSBB 1230 AM
in New Smyrna, 1490 AM in DeLand, and online at www.MyAM1230.com with play-by-play from
Robbie Aaron. Live Stats, the
@StetsonMBB Twitter feed, and Hat-Alerts will be available for in-game updates. Also, Richmond will provide a video broadcast
on a premium pay-per-view basis.